Article by: Trisha
Congratulations, you have been accepted to the University of Denver, Class of 2019.
I looked at the email, ecstatic. My eyes scanned the words over and over again just to make sure. I was indeed going to be studying real estate at one of the finest schools in the United States in one of the most beautiful cities in the country! It was a dream come true. Now, all I had to do was vacation at home for the summer until I had to pack my bags and leave for the United States. Simple, right? But it seemed like time stood still after receiving that acceptance email from DU. Days, weeks, months-everything seemed endless, and all I could think about was the amazing opportunities that were in store for me at DU.
Finally, on the 31st of August, 2015 I left the place I grew up in, Vadodara, without a look back. Charging into the unknown, I was ready to experience what was supposed to be the best years of my life. I arrived at DU on a warm fall night and smiled at the beautiful place I was allowed to call home. Other international students had to come early as well for our own international orientation. A perfect opportunity to make friends with students who were making the same transition as I was. It was a week spent in blissful contentment.
I could get used to this, I would think every day before going to bed, happy from the exploration I had done that day which pushed me closer to adulthood – like get my first ever debit card! Life was good.
On September 7, 2015, I woke up to unfamiliar noises in the hallways. Forgetting it was the domestic students move-in day at first, I soon realized that all my new friends were in the hallways moving in. I quickly got dressed and went out to see for myself…
There were more people then I have ever seen in one place (and I come from the second most populous country in the world). What’s more was that everyone seemed to know each other – laughing, talking about their childhood, exchanging phone numbers, making plans – as I stood there blankly staring at everything and everyone unable to move. “Making new friends is going to be hard,” said a little voice in my head.
And it was hard. Soon, everyone around me seemed to be making friends and having that ultimate college experience you hear about. But I wasn’t. My friends back home kept telling me that making new friends takes time. But how much time, I would think? 1 month? 2? A quarter? All that had passed. My initial excitement from moving to DU had changed to worry. I started researching online questions like “how to make friends in college?” and “when do you really meet your friend group in college?” and began doubting myself.
Then, almost instantaneously, things started to work out. I found myself doing things with people I enjoyed spending time with and who enjoyed spending time with me.
I found people who shared the same interests I did. I started stayed up through the night with new friends, chatting, laughing until my stomach hurt. Things became easier.
How? Patience. You just have to be patient. But more importantly, you have to put yourself out there. No one is magically going to know that amazing joke you thought of or the fact that you can recite an entire Star Wars movie by memory if you don’t speak up.
A simple “hi, do you want to work on this project together” led to me to meet one of my best friends in Denver.
Another one of my best friends I met because I introduced myself to her at an orientation event I attended just for fun in my sophomore year. I decided to face my shyness and fear head on. And it began to pay off. I began joining clubs and getting involved in Greek Life. I started going to events on campus. Simply getting involved led me to all my friends. I soon realized that that little worried voice in my head was being drowned out by the sound of my own laughter!
Don’t get me wrong, making friends anywhere at any age is hard and it takes time. But you definitely aren’t alone. I have met amazing people at DU. I’ve even taken the opportunity to study abroad for a year in London and I’ve made even more friends being here now. In those brief months in junior year when I was struggling, I would have had a hard time believing I’d have as many friends as I do now.
But it turns out my friends back home were right – all it took was time. And now, I couldn’t be luckier!
So hold on and remember, this too shall pass. You are special. You are unique. You will make friends wherever you go… just wait and see.